reef-pi :: An opensource reef tank controller based on Raspberry Pi.

Tom Bishop

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The Nicrew is 0-10v Analog, quite a few people are using it and they seem to like. @lucasw try changing the PWM frequency for the pca9685 driver to 600 instead of the 150 it's likely set to, this should clear up the flickering.

@Tom Bishop looks like you have things connected correctly, maybe check the ground is actually connected from Pi to ground going to light, if there's no common ground I think you'll have full power and no dimming even if signal voltage changes.

The plug in the Nicrew is actually a TRRS as mentioned, one ring has +24v on it which is used to power the Nicrew controller, apparently shorting out the ring (+24v) and sleeve (GND) you will get a ground that's why the Amazon listing shows a TRS connector.

So a three tip plug should be fine, if I read that correct, if you short the one ring to ground it acts like a ground. I have a three tip plug but the light is not changing to any input.
 
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robsworld78

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So a three tip plug should be fine, if I read that correct, if you short the one ring to ground it acts like a ground. I have a three tip plug but the light is not changing to any input.
I believe so but @lucasw thinks that might have ruined his Pi. Only thing I can think other than no common ground is try a TRRS cable so you have access to the GND and not shorting any pins in light.

If you have some cable you could open the light and solder directly to the jack internally to test saving you from getting a TRRS cable.
 

Tom Bishop

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The Nicrew is 0-10v Analog, quite a few people are using it and they seem to like. @lucasw try changing the PWM frequency for the pca9685 driver to 600 instead of the 150 it's likely set to, this should clear up the flickering.

@Tom Bishop looks like you have things connected correctly, maybe check the ground is actually connected from Pi to ground going to light, if there's no common ground I think you'll have full power and no dimming even if signal voltage changes.

The plug in the Nicrew is actually a TRRS as mentioned, one ring has +24v on it which is used to power the Nicrew controller, apparently shorting out the ring (+24v) and sleeve (GND) you will get a ground that's why the Amazon listing shows a TRS connector.

Ground checks out, verif
I believe so but @lucasw thinks that might have ruined his Pi. Only thing I can think other than no common ground is try a TRRS cable so you have access to the GND and not shorting any pins in light.
I do not think I have a trrs plug, the information on amazon specifically calls out a trs plug, they mention a trrs plug and state to not use ring 2 close to the sleeve. I have verified the grounds and they look good but I am missing something, going to see when I have the plug in the light and see if the multimeter reads anything.
 

Tom Bishop

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I do not see any power coming out of the trs plug when plugged into the light, no voltage at all. I think a three tipped plug should work and be safe since you don't want 24v being fed back. Not sure what else to try at this point, it all looks good but the light is not reacting like it should, light could have issues in that regard, never tested it so how would I know and I do not have anything else to try it on.
 

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I do not see any power coming out of the trs plug when plugged into the light, no voltage at all. I think a three tipped plug should work and be safe since you don't want 24v being fed back. Not sure what else to try at this point, it all looks good but the light is not reacting like it should, light could have issues in that regard, never tested it so how would I know and I do not have anything else to try it on.
Yeah I think if a TRS is plugged in TRRS jack the sleeve will short out the bottom ring which would be the 3 Pin mode, unfortunately I don't have a TRRS jack to verify though. If you get no voltage with TRS plugged in it sounds like is doing what it should.

Can you find another DC power point in the light? With the TRS plugged in use the sleeve for ground probe and see if it is indeed a ground.

I guess another thing you could test is connect light to adapter and see if you get 0-10v testing from the jack in light. You tested plug but how about jack when its plugged in.
 
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NeonRabbit221B

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Hey all, its been a while since I posted in this thread. I was looking over the reef brite schematic that @Ryan115 posted a while back and wanted to confirm something...
(here is the post https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/r...ler-based-on-raspberry-pi.289256/post-5170928)

I am trying to hook up my Lumilite strips to my reef pi and in the above post it looks like the PWM voltage to the lights is 0-10V but the power supply that my lights are running on now is a 24V supply. Not sure how the schematic changes and if I bought the wrong voltage regulators as I got the LM7810. Does the in-line dimmer that comes with the lights drop that down to 10V..? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Yeah I think if a TRS is plugged in TRRS jack the sleeve will short out the bottom ring which would be the 3 Pin mode, unfortunately I don't have a TRRS jack to verify though. If you get no voltage with TRS plugged in it sounds like is doing what it should.

Can you find another DC power point in the light? With the TRS plugged in use the sleeve for ground probe and see if it is indeed a ground.

I guess another thing you could test is connect light to adapter and see if you get 0-10v testing from the jack in light. You tested plug but how about jack when its plugged in.
Yeah I'm a little reluctant to take it apart, its the only one I have for my frag/qt tank and not wanting something to happen to it. I was trying to think of another way to get 0-10v to the light and see if that worked, I have a buck converter and was thinking of using that, what do you think?
 

NeonRabbit221B

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Hey all, its been a while since I posted in this thread. I was looking over the reef brite schematic that @Ryan115 posted a while back and wanted to confirm something...
(here is the post https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/r...ler-based-on-raspberry-pi.289256/post-5170928)

I am trying to hook up my Lumilite strips to my reef pi and in the above post it looks like the PWM voltage to the lights is 0-10V but the power supply that my lights are running on now is a 24V supply. Not sure how the schematic changes and if I bought the wrong voltage regulators as I got the LM7810. Does the in-line dimmer that comes with the lights drop that down to 10V..? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I think I got myself on the right path. Not sure how the post listed in the Additional Resources applied to Reef Brite but the LumiLite strips just take a voltage of 0-24V so I should just be able to use a n-channel MOSFET pretty much identical to the original lighting guide. I will keep searching around but I think I way over complicated this. I should have paid attention in my electrical classes back in college.
 

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PH Probe issues.

I have the Michael Lane PH Board and a Milwaukee Instruments MA913B/3 pH Probe. I plugged the probe onto the board today, configured it and everything seems to be working, but I'm seeing a current PH reading of 58. Strange as my PH meter is showing 8.1 . Maybe there's something else that I need to configure (RPI 4.1), not sure, but if anyone has any ideas as to why the strange reading I would appreciate some help :p
 

Tom Bishop

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PH Probe issues.

I have the Michael Lane PH Board and a Milwaukee Instruments MA913B/3 pH Probe. I plugged the probe onto the board today, configured it and everything seems to be working, but I'm seeing a current PH reading of 58. Strange as my PH meter is showing 8.1 . Maybe there's something else that I need to configure (RPI 4.1), not sure, but if anyone has any ideas as to why the strange reading I would appreciate some help :p
I've had issues with PH probes also, usually the idea is to calibrate it with a calibration fluid for the various calibration fluids then it should track accordingly.
 
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NeonRabbit221B

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Question... In the lighting example with the MOSFETs we use a resistor between the PWM and gnd I am guessing to protect the PWM pins or to pull voltage down to zero.. Anyways, for a 12V setup like the LED strip in the example it shows a 1K ohm but if I am using a 24 V power supply does the resistor also need to change?
 
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Question... In the lighting example with the MOSFETs we use a resistor between the PWM and gnd I am guessing to protect the PWM pins or to pull voltage down to zero.. Anyways, for a 12V setup like the LED strip in the example it shows a 1K ohm but if I am using a 24 V power supply does the resistor also need to change?
Should be fine. You can also use ULN2803 like darlingtons if the current draw is less than 500ma
you can also search for LED mosfet circuit, and that will give you quiet a few good reference
 

NeonRabbit221B

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Should be fine. You can also use ULN2803 like darlingtons if the current draw is less than 500ma
you can also search for LED mosfet circuit, and that will give you quiet a few good reference

Its a 30W supply so I would likely be outside of that range. I will read around before I finish wiring it up and testing. It is just very dense reading material haha

Thanks!
 

robsworld78

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Yeah I'm a little reluctant to take it apart, its the only one I have for my frag/qt tank and not wanting something to happen to it. I was trying to think of another way to get 0-10v to the light and see if that worked, I have a buck converter and was thinking of using that, what do you think?
I hear you, as the single voltage changes when you adjust reef-pi I don't think another 0-10v source will work. I think 0-10v from a buck would be ok but that's on you to try. ;) I would rather open the light and try and read voltage from the back of the 3.5mm jack to make sure 0-10v is getting inside the light. If you use same plug with different source I think it would be the same result. Maybe the sleeve and bottom ring aren't being shorted in the jack as expected.
 

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Don't worry too much about thermal conductivity, it doesn't really matter if you see a 0.1 degree change now or in 3 minutes. I use aquarium silicone, which is rather isolating thermally, and it's fine, if i put it from 19° air into a 25° bucket of saltwater, it takes maybe a minute, 2 at most, until the sensor shows 25. And if i open a window for fresh air for 5 minutes, it picks up the change in air temperature no problem.

I'd definitely value reef safe materials vs unknown plastics and plasticizers higher than having the sensor be faster by a few seconds

Got the new probes and put a thin layer of DAP aquarium safe silicone on the probe, paying special attention to the cable/probe 'joint' to seal that up. After a 24hr cure and testing against a NIST-calibrated thermometer, it's in the tank and everything is good :)
 
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elysics

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A few days ago, i had the issue of the dosing pump failing to stop rear its ugly head again, twice. One time i caught it and could hit the killswitch, the second time it emptied my alkalinity reservoir, thankfully not completely full and before i got around to raising the concentration. Still put me at 10.5° dKH. Slowly backed down to 8.5 now, no damages apart from a STNing S. hystrix, but i expect it to recover just fine.

The only change i made beforehand was exchanging chained together audio cables going to a light over another tank with a single long cable that crossed some power cables when i initially installed it, since i moved it away from the power cables it hasn't happened again (yet). The other end of the audio cable attached to two op amps fed by low pass filtered signals from the two pwm pins on the pi zero itself.

At least one of those times coincided with wifi going down and the pi kicking up it's reconnect script which kept failing for 2-3 minutes until the router started back up again, cpu utilization never went to 100% (or even above 50% if I can trust the graph) though.

So, i need to change something. I am still considering detaching the dosing to a dedicated arduino, but i really like having direct control through the reefpi UI. Another idea i had was to tie all enable/standby pins of all the dosing motoro driver boards to one or two GPIOs and enable/disable them before and after the expected runtime of the dosing pumps, that would at least limit the amount of overdose. Is there a problem with that approach i am not seeing?

And is it plausible that some signal induced through the audio cable stopped the i2c command to turn the pca9685 channel for the dosing pump off?
 
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Tom Bishop

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A few days ago, i had the issue of the dosing pump failing to stop rear its ugly head again, twice. One time i caught it and could hit the killswitch, the second time it emptied my alkalinity reservoir, thankfully not completely full and before i got around to raising the concentration. Still put me at 10.5° dKH. Slowly backed down to 8.5 now, no damages apart from a STNing S. hystrix, but i expect it to recover just fine.

The only change i made beforehand was exchanging chained together audio cables going to a light over another tank with a single long cable that crossed some power cables when i initially installed it, since i moved it away from the power cables it hasn't happened again (yet). The other end of the audio cable attached to two op amps fed by low pass filtered signals from the two pwm pins on the pi zero itself.

At least one of those times coincided with wifi going down and the pi kicking up it's reconnect script which kept failing for 2-3 minutes until the router started back up again, cpu utilization never went to 100% (or even above 50% if I can trust the graph) though.

So, i need to change something. I am still considering detaching the dosing to a dedicated arduino, but i really like having direct control through the reefpi UI. Another idea i had was to tie all enable/standby pins of all the dosing motoro driver boards to one or two GPIOs and enable/disable them before and after the expected runtime of the dosing pumps, that would at least limit the amount of overdose. Is there a problem with that approach i am not seeing?

And is it plausible that some signal induced through the audio cable stopped the i2c command to turn the pca9685 channel for the dosing pump off?
Another option is to go with something like the BRS dosers that are controlled via an outlet, which is just a timer in reefpi. I have both types and have decided to go with the BRS just from a safety standpoint, they are much slower but I can dial them in and ensure they are off with additional timers so it's pretty failsafe. I have 2 types of power strips in my setup, one set is normally open and one set is normally closed, I have the brs dosers tied to the normally open so if something happens with reefpi they should not stay on.

If you want more details let me know.
 
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Tom Bishop

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Its a 30W supply so I would likely be outside of that range. I will read around before I finish wiring it up and testing. It is just very dense reading material haha

Thanks!
FYI I am using this board in multiple reefpi installations with modifications - mosfet board I always swap out all the connections with JST-XH connectors and usually swap out the mosfet since its a power mosfet and not a logic level. you bring pwm and gnd from the pi and then connect your power input and output to light and it works fine. You do need to pay attention to how many amps your pulling and ensure your wiring is sufficient for the input and output to the light. FYI JST-XH connectors are only rated for 3a but at least for my lighting connections they are all under that threshold. The screw terminals can handle much more I just dont like screw terminals.

I can get a pic of what they look like when I have modded one if you want just let me know.
 

elysics

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Another option is to go with something like the BRS dosers that are controlled via an outlet, which is just a timer in reefpi. I have both types and have decided to go with the BRS just from a safety standpoint, they are much slower but I can dial them in and ensure they are off with additional timers so it's pretty failsafe. I have 2 types of power strips in my setup, one set is normally open and one set is normally closed, I have the brs dosers tied to the normally open so if something happens with reefpi they should not stay on.

If you want more details let me know.
Doing 230v tinkering isn't really an option for me quite yet, but putting a normally open relay on the 12V rail going to the pump drivers might be another way to do a failsafe.

That'd put quite the strain on that relay though, going on and off around a 100 times a day, or I'd need to take up quite a few gpios if I'm going to do it per pump
 
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